Newby - How do I go from tape to .tap file

Hi all

Don't laugh we all start somewhere - just getting into the process of making my Specky a bit more modern so want to know how to go from an original tape to a tap file. I have a tape player able to output to the PC and have the ability to record in wav or MP3 format from the tape. I am running windows 7 64bit. Any ideas or help greatly appreciated.


  • edited February 2016
    If your original tape has been recorded with the standard ROM loader, the process is easy. You should convert the tape output to a mono 8-bit WAV file with your favorite editor - a good one being Audacity - then convert it with a tool like MakeTZX:

    (GUI: )

    or WAV2TZX:

    and then convert the resulting TZX file to TAP with TZX2TAP

    If the original tape is recorded with a custom/turbo loader, the TAP file won't be able to store its data. You will have to play the TZX file with an utility like Tapir instead:

    unless you absolutely need the TAP files to load them off a DivIDE or a similar device.

    Whereas if you just need to feed the data into your Spectrum via PC, you won't need to transform your TZX files into TAP ones. You could however need an external amplifier to let the Spectrum 'hear' the data flux. An amplified PC desktop speaker will do - put one jack of the load/save cable inside the earphone socket of the speaker and connect the other jack to the EAR socket of your Spectrum. Experiment with various volumes until you find one that allows you to load the data by opening the TZX file into Tapir and then selecting Play from the Left/Right menus.
    Post edited by Alessandro Grussu on
    Thanked by 1mityay
  • Great - thanks for that and the links will give it a go.
  • I am having a bit of trouble doing it. I suspect it is the wav file quality I have made. I can create an 8-bit mono recording, should I be using a certain sample rate or not? I have tried the wav2tzx and do get an output file but with varying amounts of data in it, and certainly nothing that the spectaculator emulator can read. I am trying with the Ghostbusters game - am I barking up the wrong tree?
  • Hi Merlin_2,

    for best results, samples should be saved as mono 8-bit WAV files at 44100 Hz. (See also the MakeTZX HTML help file at "Sampling").

    Which version of Ghostbusters do you have? The original Activision version is recorded with Speedlock 1, so you won't be able to make a TAP file out of it, but a TZX only, which is even better for archiviation purposes since it stores the custom loading scheme. All emulators for Windows can read TZX files, so if you want to load the resulting TZX file inside Spectaculator, or even into your real, physical Spectrum, you certainly will be able to do so. Just follow the indications for MakeTZX or WAV2TZX and you are fine, provided the WAV file is clear enough to be converted by such programs.
  • Managed to do it fantastic. I think it is all about the quality of the .WAV file. Had to play about with the input volume quite a bit but got there in the end. Many thanks for all your help, I will have to see what other tapes I have to rescue now.
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